Coutinho a future Liverpool star
Philippe Coutinho has the experience to be a success at Liverpool despite his young age, according to assistant manager Colin Pascoe.
The club's policy of looking to youth in the transfer market has been questioned after an embarrassing 3-2 FA Cup fourth-round defeat at Oldham last Sunday caused manager Brendan Rodgers to criticise his younger players in public.
Coutinho, 20, is set to start full training with the club next week after completing an £8.5 million move from Inter Milan.
And Pascoe insists the Brazilian playmaker has the mental strength to cope with life at Anfield.
"He has played a lot of games from a young age," said Pascoe, standing in for Rodgers, who was in London attending a court case involving his son Anton.
"What we have is a young talent who has played a lot for Inter Milan and Espanyol.
"He is a young lad – but judging by what we have seen of him, he can handle this type of pressure and he will be a good asset for us.
"The young lads who have come through have been absolutely brilliant, but he has a lot of experience.
"He plays wide left and he can play as a number 10. He likes to take on defenders and has a great awareness of his team-mates."
Coutinho will not be involved on Sunday when Liverpool visit Manchester City in the Premier League, but could figure in the home game against West Brom a week on Monday.
Pascoe added: "He has to sort a few things out in Milan but he'll be back next week and he'll be ready to start straight away. He will be a great addition to the squad."
Coutinho was Liverpool's second signing of the transfer window, following £12 million striker Daniel Sturridge's arrival from Chelsea at the start of January.
A deal for Blackpool midfielder Tom Ince failed to materialise, but Pascoe insisted that Liverpool have had a successful January.
Pascoe said: "We got the targets we wanted. With Coutinho and Daniel coming in, it enhances the squad. We are very happey with what we have done in the window."
Left-back Jose Enrique is in contention to start against City, having made his return as a substitute for the last 20 minutes of Wednesday night's 2-2 draw at Arsenal after a month out with a torn hamstring.
"Jose Enrique came on against Arsenal on Wednesday and has trained well yesterday and today," Pascoe said. "He's fighting fit."